discussion post / student replies : Solution Essays

Chapter 11 highlights the continual debate among political scientists as to whether negative campaign ads help or hurt a candidate’s prospects of winning. Regarding whether or not negative ads ‘work’, Hershey notes that these appeals are often useful because they are memorable and emotionally engaging. However, “after the individual has made his or her choice, attack ads are likely to depress turnout, especially among people who are not strong partisans” (pg. 220).

Where do you fall on this debate? Does negative campaigning garner your attention by providing useful information? Or does negative campaigning cause you to tune out? Explain and provide current examples of ads from Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial race.

*Note: Reaction posts should be approximately 2 paragraphs in length. Responses to other students do not have a length requirement but serve as your participation grade (i.e., the more thorough the better).


Student replies 

4 sentences each


When it comes to the debates, candidates and their party would tend to highlight their successes as well and promises. This is a good thing and very informative. It allows voters to see who they are, what they have done and what they would like to do. Often we see their agendas align closely with current issues to motivate or connect with concerned citizens. From there the opposing party/candidate attacks. 

For me, I think that we as voters are entitled to know the good, the bad and the ugly. Nothing is ever an issue until you try to hid it. So when there are things that are thrown out from one party/candidate to another, i would be impressed if they would own it. I’m pretty turned off when i see the back and forth attacks. It comes off a bit desperate. However, it does not deter me from my vote. 

Currently, Stacey Abrams is running for Governor of GA. Her campaign appeared to be pretty positive to me. I didn’t see much about any of the candidates that was too negative. Then the first negative blow that I heard was about Stacey Abrams not paying IRS debt. However, the same person who’s campaign brought it up, has also had tax issues. The biggest thing for me is, Stacey Abrams is not the only person who has IRS bills. I like how she addressed the issue that has been brought up. These actions has not secured my vote for or against Stacey Abrams.


I take political ads with a grain of salt. Whether they’re positive or negative and whoever the candidate is. Not to say the ads aren’t true but you can spin anything in any direction you want to. A great example is the governors race here in Georgia. There is the notion that the Secretary of State’s office is holding 53,000 votes that will not be eligible to vote in the upcoming 2018 midterms. This is completely untrue, every vote that was turned in before the voter registration deadline will be able to vote in the election. There is also an ad out by the Abrams camp that Brian Kemp leaked Georgians information while in office. Again is 100% untrue and is trying to gather support by playing on the fears of people. Attempting to be as less biases as possible the Kemp campaign has tried to label Abrams as an “extremist” and a socialist. Most recently I’ve only seen the Abrams campaign running these negative ads. 


I like to do my own research and not rely to heavily on what I’ve seen in political ads. For reasons like I stated above. At the same time like a large majority of voters negative ads tend to stick with me. Negative ads are usually the ads I look to see are true or just hot air.

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